, Derry, New Hampshire

November 14, 2013

Dumpster Depot foes win with zoners

Zoning Board grants appeal of proposal

By Julie Huss

---- — DERRY — Residents hoping to stop a Dumpster Depot from moving to Ashleigh Drive got a boost from the Zoning Board last week.

Zoning Board members agreed unanimously with an appeal, saying the proposed Dumpster plan was not an allowed use in the town’s Industrial III zone in that part of town.

Planning Board member and direct abutter John O’Connor presented the appeal, saying the plan should not have been approved by the Planning Board in August as it was not a permitted use.

O’Connor recused himself from all Planning Board votes and discussion on the Dumpster Depot plan.

The zoning appeal was the next step by residents to try to stop the plan that would bring as many as 350 Dumpsters to 41 Ashleigh Drive.

The Planning Board gave conditional approval to the plan in August, attaching conditions including updated landscaping, revised hours of operation, only empty Dumpsters allowed on site with the exception of a 24-hour stay during weekdays and a 36-hour stay on weekends if needed. Also, there would be no washing of Dumpsters on site and no fueling done.

But residents living near the area spoke out from day one, saying the plan would cause their home values to plummet and would create noise, smells and other detrimental effects nearby.

Some residents said the process was incorrect all along as some final conditions changed through the course of the presentations and other boards in town were given different information by the project owners.

Last week, O’Connor said there was an error on the part of the town’s code enforcement officer Bob Mackey when he called the plan an accepted use as a “contractor’s yard,” according to town zoning regulations.

O’Connor said many facts were not known and that is not a permitted use that Dumpster Depot would fall under in that area of town.

“There is strong opposition to this facility,” O’Connor said. “There is no substantial gain, only loss to the community. We want to be known as ‘Spacetown’ not ‘Trash Town.’”

Zoning Board officials said in the end the town’s zoning rules do not allow for this type of transit waste facility anywhere in Derry.

“We believe the Planning Board erred in its decision to allow this in the Industrial III district and the approval was improper,” Zoning Board Chairman Alan Virr said.

Zoning Board member Lynn Perkins said Dumpster Depot did not belong in the contractor’s yard category.

“That does not apply in this case,” he said.

Greenwich Road resident Brenda Wilson was one of the most outspoken about the Dumpster Depot plan. She said it’s been a long process.

“It’s been a long six months for many of us,” she said. “It consumed our spring, summer and fall.”

The Dumpster Depot plan will return to the Planning Board, Virr said.

“They will have to now obtain a variance and will come back to us,” he said.